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Stevenson School in internationally celebrated Pebble Beach, California, is as renowned for its beauty as it is for its academic prowess. Towering pines of the Del Monte Forest surround lovely buildings that were clearly designed and built to sit in harmony with the breathtaking natural landscape. The Pacific Ocean’s gorgeous coastline and sandy beaches are just a short walk away, and world-famous Spyglass golf course hugs one side of campus. On foggy days, as students and teachers rush to class along winding paths, the campus has a studious and stately air—as if the buildings themselves feel fortunate to be part of the Stevenson experience. The students, the staff, the campus, and the environment seem to be intrinsically connected. Their shared experiences are best described as inspired.

Recognized primarily for its selective admissions standards and rigorous college-prep curriculum, Stevenson has been providing students with a top-notch education since 1952. Over the years, as it has grown in size and enrollment, the school has also grown in scope. Beyond academic excellence, Stevenson is committed to instilling the higher virtues of individual responsibility, intellectual risk-taking, and service. The school is also known for its strong (and uncommon) stand for growth and excellence in the performing arts; to this end, the student body chooses from a menu of over 20 performing arts courses, including some that are usually only offered at the college level, such as “Principles of Choreography” and “Music Theory and Improvisation.”

About half of Stevenson’s 520 students are boarding students, hailing from 20 states and 16 countries. The other half of the student body lives in cities in and around the Monterey Bay. School faculty is comprised of 62 experienced and committed educators, most of whom do a lot more than teach. It is not uncommon for faculty members to coach athletic teams, mentor, and support extracurricular student-run clubs. And speaking of clubs, the school has over 30, including sports clubs (Surfing, Cycling, Badminton), activist clubs (Amnesty International, Environmental Club), and some that, by their names, illustrate the colorful and creative nature of the student body (Distaste for Yankees Club).
One thing Stevenson students do not have a choice about is being up to speed with education technology and electronic media. Eleven years ago, the school pioneered a groundbreaking 1:1 Laptop Program requiring all students to own and use laptop computers. Now, laptops are fully integrated into the lives of all Stevenson students and educators; they are used for everything from note-taking and schedule management to communication and research. Furthermore, the campus is equipped with full and secure wireless coverage, making information access easy and instantaneous.

For the athletically-minded student, Stevenson has 46 competing teams and a wide selection of extracurricular sports. Students also benefit from an excellent outdoor education program that includes courses in rock climbing, mountaineering, and sea kayaking. Also worth noting is the unique Stevenson Ropes Course—an obstacle course comprised of elements built on the ground and in the trees. The ropes course is put to frequent use by many groups including wilderness expedition leaders, sports teams, and leadership training courses, challenging students to use their minds and bodies to problem-solve and collaborate with team members.

Stevenson Upper School offers as many opportunities and challenges and as much inspiration and support as any bright, creative, and independent high school student could possibly desire. Mark Peterson, Alumni Representative for the Class of 1989, says: “Stevenson provides a collegiate environment four years earlier than most high schools. While there is the pre-college preparation, it is much more than that. It is about a sense of community and bringing together a geographic and culturally diverse group of young adults to develop character, be inspired, and reach their potential; whether intellectually, socially, artistically or athletically.”